Secret Pop

Apr 22, 2002

"I'm just out to find the better part of me."

I went running on Saturday morning, and I managed to fall flat on my face before I'd cleared the first block. I caught the tip of my running shoe on a bit of uneven sidewalk and went through that slow motion ballet of gawkish flailing that can only really be experienced in that split second that feels like minutes and minutes. All at once, I felt both my pelvic bones hit the pavement, I smacked my knee very hard, and I worried that I had broken my MP3 player. I did not break my MP3 player. Nor did I break any skin, save for a tiny patch on one of my palms. And I did not injure myself severely enough to justify not completing my run. So I picked myself up, brushed the bits of grass and dirt off my pants and finished my run like a champ.

There's a moment when you're falling when you're sure that you're not. You sense yourself losing hold of the ground. Or it of you. But you reach for those invisible handholds that you can't quite find or grasp. It doesn't seem possible that you will lose control. You're certain it's only a matter of will. You can will yourself not to fall. You can choose to maintain your composure and dignity. You can choose to remain erect and upright. That makes it all the more disappointing when you fail to keep it together. It's as if you let yourself down. By not wanting it enough.

When I hit the ground, I made a sound that was sort of an "ungh" and couldn't tell if I was more embarrassed or physically startled. I'm sure I made quite a spectacle for the passengers in cars driving by. I ended up falling in such a way that my hands were stretched far out in front of me. I recall thinking that I could put my feet between my body and the ground. I tried to catch them up under me. But they never managed to find the firmament. So, maybe for a moment there I was actually flying. That's one way of looking at it.

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